Ben Shaoul Begins Demolition On Orchard Street Ahead of Ritzy 10-story Development

Posted on: May 7th, 2015 at 5:10 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Photo: Kevin Gannon

Barely a week after the shadow-casting sidewalk bridge arrived at the corner of East Houston and Orchard Streets, the big takedown is now underway. It starts. Of the four properties slated for demolition at the top of Hell Square, 194 Orchard Street is the first to meet the money-hungry sledgehammer of controversial landlord-developer Ben Shaoul.

Boogie reader Kevin Gannon sends us the following aerial shot of the carnage. The roof of the one-story commercial structure no longer exists, and most of the signage is gone.

194 Orchard was the former home of the Leather Gallery, which moved down the block in 2013. The building was subsequently earmarked for its own condo conversion, but Shaoul forked over $8.8 million to put a halt to those plans.

Ben Shaoul, along with Real Estate Equities Corp., purchased this gargantuan assemblage of single-story stores for a combined $75 million. This sale was rumored for nearly a year, but didn’t actually close until last month. Shaoul’s acquisition was made possible thanks to a cash injection of $97 million from SL Green.

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Ben Shaoul’s wet dream at 196 Orchard St.

As previously reported, the new mixed-use project will assume the address of 196 Orchard. Plans call for a ten-story (120 feet) mixed-use tumor designed by Ismael Leyva Architects, which fronts 100 feet along East Houston Street and roughly 120 feet along Orchard. Floor area is divided between and a commercial footprint of 13,463 square-feet. There will be 83 dwelling units, a community facility space for a “physical culture establishment,” and ground-floor retail.

Thus far, however, DOB permits for the new building are stagnating with a “disapproved” status.

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